TAFE Western’s ongoing commitment to sustainable practice has been highlighted by this year’s institute-wide 12.5 tonne e-waste disposal exercise.
“Given TAFE Western’s footprint covers more than half of NSW, this is no small achievement,” TAFE Western Ecological Sustainability Coordinator Dr Lorne Butt said, adding the organisation operates under a 100 per cent diversion from landfill e-waste strategy.
“12.5 tonnes of e-waste disposal is significant and shows TAFE Western is fully committed to improving its environmental performance by supporting initiatives that focus on reducing the volume of waste material being sent to landfill,” Dr Butt said.
“We only work with disposal companies whose chain of disposal is fully transparent and which we can determine meets the environmental, financial and asset management standards set by the Institute under its Sustainability Charter and also NSW Government policy requirements.”
Dr Butt added TAFE Western’s e-waste strategy has four priority focus areas.
“We initially focus on where we can reuse computer equipment – for example, as parts for students to use in rebuilding exercises in our computer laboratories – and then focus on opportunities to generate revenue, take advantage of take-back programs, or donate items such as laptops and printers to schools or hospitals both in Australia and overseas,” Dr Butt said.
“Disposal of materials for recycling is our last resort and only occurs if the equipment is not suited for reuse, sale, take-back or donation.”
Dr Butt said TAFE Western partners with companies such as Apple Inc, Hewlett Packard, Lenovo, Greenbox, ACT Logistics, Fuji Xerox and Planet Ark to manage the organisation’s green information and communications technology framework.
“We place a huge emphasis on using environmentally responsible suppliers who focus on energy efficiency, use certified recycling programs and don’t use offshore suppliers for recycling.”
TAFE Western Senior Technology Support Officer in Orange Matt Weston added: “My team and I are very proud of our e-waste achievements over the past couple of years. Through collaboration with other staff we have collected a large amount of ewaste material,” he said.
While Dubbo Technology Support Officer Malcolm Tattersall said: “There is a reduction in e-waste sitting around looking unsightly and having the potential to have OHS implications. E-waste is being recycled and providing some revenue back to TAFE Western.”